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For-Profit Colleges Sue to Block ‘Gainful Employment’ Regulation

Continuing its vigorous legal challenge of Education Department regulations, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the main lobbying group for for-profit colleges, filed suit today in federal court to block the department’s “gainful employment” rule. The wide-ranging regulation, which will cut off federal student aid to programs that fail to meet benchmarks for their graduates’ loan repayment and debt-to-income ratios, was issued last month in what many observers said was considerably softer form than originally proposed. But the for-profit association, which mounted a fierce lobbying campaign against the rule, said it was still unsatisfactory. The policy represents “regulatory overreach,” it conflicts with the intent of Congress, it was developed through a “flawed process,” and it was created “without adequately exploring the impact on minorities, women, and jobs,” according to a news release the association issued. The group’s lawsuit followed by two days its announcement that it would appeal a federal judge’s upholding of two other regulations, which bar deception in college recruiting and ban commissions for college recruiters.

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